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NFC Notes: Cardinals, Cowboys, Falcons

Cardinals

  • There has been talk that Cardinals HC Bruce Arians could retire after the 2017 season for a few years now.
  • Arians has denied recent reports that this year could be his last, but assuming he walks away at some point, Rich Cimini of ESPN mentions that current Jets HC Todd Bowles could be an appealing option for the Cardinals should he be fired.
  • In fact, should the Cardinals have an opening, a source tells Cimini that Arians would love to see Bowles succeed him in Arizona.

Cowboys

  • After an internet report surfaced that the Cowboys could trade WR Cole Beasley to the Ravens, executive VP Stephen Jones personally assured Beasley that they won’t be trading him ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram.

Falcons

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that rival scouts and coaches attribute the Falcons’ offensive regression to the loss of Kyle Shanahan.

La Canfora says that some who have studied Shanahan’s offense closely also note that Atlanta’s decision to allow top assistants Matt LaFleur and Mike McDaniel to leave for other jobs also believe this is a “significant” factor in the team’s current struggles.

Sources tell La Canfora that new Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian has struggled to grasp the system, much less master it since arriving in Atlanta.

“Losing Kyle was bad enough,” said one executive, “but letting the other two walk is crushing them right now. Sark doesn’t know what he’s doing in that offense. He’s running some of Kyle’s plays, but he’s not setting up things the way Kyle did. He’s not establishing one thing early to then trick the defense into something else late. It’s Kyle’s plays but it’s not Kyle’s offense and they don’t have any other coach in that building who knows the scheme with LaFleur and McDaniel gone, too.”

In fact, one source told La Canfora that the Falcons should just allow backup QB Matt Schaub to call plays considering how long he worked with Shanahan: “They should let (backup quarterback) Matt Schaub call the plays, because he was with Kyle forever and he understands it better than Matt Ryan does.

However, a separate source explained that Atlanta is no longer running Shanahan’s offense at this point. “That’s not Kyle’s offense they’re running anymore. You can’t just replace Kyle’s brain, especially if you let his top run guy and top passing guy leave, too. They’re running the ball well without him, but it’s not those gashing runs in the outside zone. It’s not the same script. It’s some of the same plays, but it’s out of sync.”

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